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By Dr. Tyson Swigart

WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC? Chiropractic is a healing art that emphasizes the importance of body structure, alignment and movement. Chiropractic and other manual therapies have been practiced since antiquity. Chiropractic made its official start as an organized healing profession in 1895 when D.D. Palmer introduced the concept of a specific, short lever manipulation of the spine. This was a step beyond the traction, massage and ancient “bone setting” that had been recorded as far back in history as Hippocrates. Chiropractic is practiced widely throughout the U.S. and in almost every country in the world. Today, most chiropractors combine spinal manipulations or “adjustments” with physical medicine and exercise. Many chiropractors also incorporate massage therapy techniques and nutrition to help patients get well and stay well. There are numerous specialties and treatment styles. HOW ARE CHIROPRACTORS DIFFERENT FROM MEDICAL DOCTORS? Chiropractors emphasize a drug free and non-surgical approach to healing that promotes the concept that the body will heal itself if given the proper assistance. Today’s medical doctors and chiropractors have very similar levels of education and often will work in conjunction to provide treatment to a patient.

as to attribute a large portion of their success to chiropractic’s ability to prevent injury and improve performance. DO INSURANCE COMPANIES COVER CHIROPRACTIC CARE? Most insurance companies cover chiropractic care without referrals from another doctor. In fact, many insurance companies that previously did not cover chiropractic care now have added this benefit due to its cost effectiveness. Please feel free to call our office if you have any additional questions in regards to the nature and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. This INDUSTRY INSIGHT was written by Marcella and Tyson Swigart. Tyson Swigart, DC, CCSP, CSCS, has been the owner and founder of Southpointe Chiropractic and Fitness since 1999. He is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and the University of Maryland. In addition to his experience as a physician, Dr. Swigart is an exercise physiologist, former college professor, and former collegiate strength and conditioning coach. He has worked extensively with athletes of all ages and levels of competitive sports. Dr. Swigart and his wife Marcella, a registered nurse, reside in Upper St. Clair with their four children.

WHAT KIND OF CONDITIONS DO CHIROPRACTORS COMMONLY TREAT? Chiropractic physicians most commonly treat neck pain and back pain that can come from a variety of conditions. However, chiropractic care is not limited to the spine. Many chiropractors work on other parts of the body including shoulders, elbows, knees and feet. Chiropractic is a very effective form of treatment for disc herniation, arthritic conditions and migraine headaches. Many parents also take their children to chiropractors for the prevention of ear infections and to promote health. IS CHIROPRACTIC CARE SAFE? Yes. Because chiropractors do not utilize drugs or surgery, chiropractic care is among the safest forms of healthcare. Side effects from chiropractic treatments are very rare. HOW LONG DOES CHIROPRACTIC TAKE TO WORK? This depends on the nature and chronicity of the condition. Generally speaking, the longer a condition has been around, the longer it takes to treat. Treatment time is also dependent on severity of a condition. Most conditions should begin to improve within a few weeks. If improvement isn’t seen within an expected window of time, changes in treatment and the necessary referrals will be made. ONCE YOU GO TO A CHIROPRACTOR DO YOU HAVE TO GO FOREVER? No. However, many chiropractic patients feel so much better with treatment, they will continue to maintain regular visits to promote well-being or to control pain. Also, chiropractic plays a large role in preventative care to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle. CAN ATHLETES BENEFIT FROM CHIROPRACTIC CARE? Absolutely! Many top-level athletes such as Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice and Tiger Woods are proponents of chiropractic care, even going so far Upper St. Clair | Fall 2012 | 61